|Sound Tigers Defenseman Ty Wishart watches his tee shot at the 2012 ICF Golf Outing
A staggering 155 golfers joined Islanders coaches, alumni and Bridgeport Sound Tigers players at the fifth-annual Islanders Charity Golf Tournament at Bethpage State Park Golf Course on Wednesday, raising more than $80,000.
Islanders General Manager Garth Snow is also the President of the Islanders Children’s Foundation, which is dedicated to supporting Long Island-based nonprofit organizations that provide opportunities to children.
“The community support for this event has grown every year and today was no different,” Snow said. “The entire Islanders organization, spanning from forty years of alumni to coaches to our fans, turned out for a great day at Bethpage to support a really great cause.”
Some of the Islanders “celebrity golfers” played a single hole throughout the event as foursomes cycled through, while others joined a foursome of fans for a full round. Sound Tigers defenseman Matt Donovan played all 18 holes as part of a five-man group and enjoyed spending the afternoon with such devoted fans.
“The guys I played with were really great to spend the afternoon with,” Donovan said. “They didn’t hold back on making fun of me. It’s always awesome to get to interact with the fans for a long period of time and say more than just hello. It was fun to get to know them.”
Each tee box had a competition such as a chipping contest, a roulette wheel or a bean bag toss that allowed each golfer to wager for special prizes, with every dollar donated benefitting the Islanders Children’s Foundation. Former Islander Bryan Trottier, a veteran of Long Island charity golf outings, enjoyed watching players come through to “Spin the wheel” for a chance to win tickets to the upcoming Winter Classic.
“We’re raising money for the Islanders Children’s Foundation, which along with all the charities this organization works with is a great cause,” Trottier said. “This tournament is special because this is my old backyard, this is my former team and it supports Long Island. It makes it extra special.”
Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano was stationed at Hole #10, and got to tee off with each of the 33 groups that came through.
“Last year I played in a fivesome, but this year I’m on Hole 10 for the day, and really getting a great opportunity as people come by to talk to them for five or 10 minutes,” Capuano said. “They’re asking a lot of questions, so the dialogue has been real good between myself and the golfers coming through. They seem to really be enjoying themselves. For us to come out here, it’s a beautiful day, not only to meet people but for the great cause as well.”
Islanders Assistant Coach and Senior Advisor to the General Manager Doug Weight, who also met every golfer at Hole #5, said the picture-perfect weather, beautiful golf course, fun people and great cause made Wednesday’s event special.
“To have all these great people come out on such a great day is wonderful,” Weight said. “It’s such a great cause and we’d take many more hours out of our day to be a part of this. You get to meet a lot of people and help out kids at the same time.”
Weight added that he is proud to be part of an organization with such a high level of involvement in the local community.
“It’s definitely been a commitment in my four years with the Islanders to integrate with and hear the fans, to get to know them a little bit, talk to them and let them pick your brain about things,” Weight said. “They want to hear a lot of stories and they want to know what’s going on with the current team how we feel about it, and it’s great being out here milling around with the fans. We’re having a blast.”
The evening concluded with a dinner at the course clubhouse, a presentation from Snow, and a chance auction for more great NHL and Islanders prizes.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW A PHOTO GALLERY FROM THE ICF GOLF OUTING